Gardening enthusiasts and fruit tree caretakers, gather around for a deep dive into the nuanced art of pruning, featuring insights from Beverly Welch and her knowledgeable guest Angela Chandler. Today’s blog post revolves around a detailed video where they discuss the specific case of pruning a plum tree trained for a higher canopy, but the wisdom shared can be applied to various fruit trees in your garden.

Choosing Your Pruning Path: High Canopy vs. High-Density Training

The initial fork in our pruning journey involves making a choice between high-density training, which keeps trees at a lower height for ease of harvesting and maintenance, and opting for a higher canopy. This decision hinges on personal preference, the garden’s spatial dynamics, and the specific needs of your tree species. High-density training might be particularly appealing for those looking for accessibility, such as seniors and children, but a taller canopy does not preclude productivity.

Stabilizing the Youth: The Role of Stakes

Young trees, much like young minds, require support. Stakes play a crucial role in stabilizing saplings and safeguarding their root systems against the harshness of wind. Yet, as with all childhood supports, there comes a time for removal; stakes left too long can hinder rather than help, leading to potential girdling as the tree matures.

Unbinding Growth: The Importance of Label and Stake Removal

An often-overlooked aspect of tree maintenance is the liberation from its nursery past. Removing or loosening nursery labels and stakes is critical to prevent girdling and ensure healthy growth. For those who cherish organization, maintaining a garden map or journal is a superior method for tracking tree species and locations, avoiding the risk posed by tight, restrictive labels.

Sculpting Vitality: Pruning for Health and Productivity

Central to the video’s message is the strategic removal of competing leaders and unhealthy branches, coupled with the management of branch angles for robust future growth. Tools like tree spreaders can be invaluable for adjusting young branches towards more favorable angles. The ultimate height of your tree’s canopy should reflect your capacity for upkeep and harvest, ensuring that the tree’s bounty remains within reach.

Sealing with Care: Organic Wound Paint

For those inevitable larger cuts, Beverly and Angela recommend an organic, breathable wound paint, such as IV Organics. This product aids in the healing process, preventing disease and pest intrusion without disrupting the tree’s natural recovery mechanisms.

This comprehensive video serves as an invaluable guide for both novice and seasoned gardeners, emphasizing the significance of early and thoughtful intervention in the lives of young fruit trees. By embracing these practices and utilizing organic care products, you can ensure the health and vigor of your garden’s fruitful bounty.

Dive into the full video embedded above to harvest the full breadth of Beverly and Angela’s expert advice on nurturing and sculpting your garden’s plum tree to perfection. Let the pruning begin!